Housing shortage still controversial

A semester has passed for the 235 students reassigned housing in fall 2004, and little has changed. These students, originally assigned housing in 811 Filbert in Center City, were told a few weeks before move-in

A semester has passed for the 235 students reassigned housing in fall 2004, and little has changed. These students, originally assigned housing in 811 Filbert in Center City, were told a few weeks before move-in dates that their building would not open as scheduled. Now these students face more challenges.

Students were told delays in construction would prevent the eight-story building from opening on schedule. Temple Housing and other employees then allocated housing for the 235 students affected by the change. While some students were relocated to apartment living arrangements, others were placed in four-person lounges and dorms.

The displaced students were given priority during the room change period after fall semester started. Sophomore and transfer student Chad Kline took full advantage of the priority.

“I was originally assigned to live at Johnson Hall, but soon after class started I requested a room change to Kardon. I stayed there for a short time, but I didn’t like it so I moved back into Johnson Hall…The whole situation with 811 Filbert irritated me at the time, but I am happy that I am able to stay on campus now; it makes life so much more convenient,” Kline said.

But he was not the only student displaced by 811 Filbert who had to juggle between housing options. John Funk, a junior transfer student, has also taken full advantage of his privileges.

“I was assigned to University Village, which is similar to where I would have lived, but I chose to move to White Hall for spring 2005. I am leaving University Village because I didn’t get along with my roommates and the walls are very cheap and they dent very easily…I would have much rather lived in 811 Filbert as originally planned,” Funk said.

Resentment is brewing between students that were moved to locations such as University Village or the Kardon Building and others who signed leases to live there. The aggravation comes from the difference in what the relocated students are charged. Students who decide to live in these buildings must sign a separate lease and pay for utilities, but students reassigned there do not have to pay for their utilities.

A typical student reassigned from a four-person room at 811 Filbert to University Village is charged $2,936 per semester, the amount they would have been charged for 811 Filbert. But monthly rent for a 4-bedroom at University Village ranges from $645 to $675, so a student who signed a year lease is paying $7,740 for rent alone, not including monthly utilities. The reassigned student would pay $5,872 for one academic year, saving $1,868 for the reassigned student. Their rent also does not include utilities because Temple Housing pays for these students’ utilities as part of the agreement.

In fall 2004, students still hoped they could live in 811 Filbert apartments by the next semester. In September, Mark Eyerly of Temple Housing said he was “unsure about the future of the 811 Filbert building.” Philadelphia Management, owner of 811 Filbert, has since changed the building’s name to The Warehouse Apartments at 9 North Ninth Street and is advertising the apartments: “luxurious living in the heart of Center City.”

Tina Dessert, a leasing consultant for Philadelphia Management, said that “to my knowledge we weren’t able to deliver the apartments to Temple due to construction delays and right now we’re just leasing to qualified individuals…. Price-wise, one bedrooms start at $950-1225 month and two bedrooms from $1395-1795 month.”

Overall, reassignment has benefited most reassigned students, placing them on or near Main Campus and in similar living arrangements. Although some students remain in dorms and others in luxury-styled suites in Kardon, most reassigned students interviewed said they were satisfied with their living environments.

The end of the academic year will bring with it more concerns for these students. Since Temple housing only guarantees housing to transfer students for their first year, most of these students are in the process of finding a place to live for next year. Most students placed in the Kardon Building, Atlantic Terminal and University Village said they would not sign a lease to live in their apartments next year. They are considering arrangements in other areas.

Courtney Makupson can be reached at cori06@temple.edu.

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